Nowadays, computer monitors with higher refresh rates are becoming more and more popular, with some models costing as much as the system itself. However, not everyone really understands the importance of a monitor’s refresh rate, mainly since more people tend to focus on resolution.
With that said, this article will discuss everything there is to know about refresh rate – from what it is to how essential it is for tasks, especially in gaming.
What Is Refresh Rate?
A monitor refresh rate is the number of times a pixel on a computer screen is refreshed in one second. This measurement is most commonly used to measure the refresh rates of screens for computers and televisions, although a TV refresh rate differs from a monitor refresh rate.
So, if you’re experiencing sluggishness on your computer, this may be due to your monitor refreshing too slowly. In this case, the higher the refresh rate, the more fluid or smoother animation will be during playback.
Monitors refresh themselves at different rates, depending on what you are looking at, affecting how fast or slow something appears to load.
For example, if you have a high monitor refresher rate of about 60 frames per second and an animation has 12 frames per second, it will appear to be running more slowly than if the frame rate was 24 frames per second.
Moreover, the refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and should be set according to the type of work that you do. For example, a 60 Hz setting is perfect for watching movies or playing games.
Overall, the refresh rate determines how fast your computer can show you what is happening on-screen.
How to Check a Monitor’s Refresh Rate in Windows
Often, people don’t realize that they have an issue with their refresh rate until they start noticing some problems on their PC or laptop.
So, if you’re having trouble with your computer’s monitor, you can follow these steps to carry out a refresh rate test in windows.
The first thing you will need to do is open the windows control panel. Then click on the category that says, “view by.” Then, select large icons or small icons, depending on how you have them set up in your control panel window.
Next, scroll down until you find an icon for monitor settings and double-click to open up its window. Now, look at the bottom of this screen, where it lists how many times per second the monitor refreshes.
It should say 60 hertz, but if it does not, you can change that setting by either clicking on a drop-down menu and selecting from those options or typing in your own number where it says, “screen refresh rate.”
Still, if this method doesn’t work, there is another similar one you can try.
First, open the windows control panel and click on display settings under the “category personalization.” Then look for a slider bar labeled screen refresh rate, which should be at 60 hertz by default unless you have changed it already in this same window before.
If you are using an external monitor and it is not plugged in, the slider bar will be grayed out, and you will not be able to adjust anything.
How Important Is Refresh Rate in Gaming?
Now that you know that refresh rate is how many times per second a monitor updates, let’s discuss how essential it is in gaming. In general, the higher the Hz, the more fluid your game will be.
However, is it vital for all gamers to spend their hard-earned money on a high refresh rate display, or can you get away with something more affordable and lower-rated like one with 60Hz?
In most cases, it will depend on what type of gameplay you prefer and your budget. For example, if you are an FPS gamer, a higher refresh rate is ideal because it allows for more responsiveness.
As a result, you can enjoy faster movements during the game and reduce the chances of problems like screen tearing.
This means that if you are playing CS: GO on a high-refresh monitor at 240Hz, this will allow for sharper movements and actions, making you a more efficient player.
However, if you prefer turn-based games such as DOTA or Civilization, where the pace is a little slower, a monitor with a high refresh rate is not really needed.
Of course, you should also note other factors at play, including input lag, which will be discussed below.
So, how important is a high refresh rate? It’s best to remember that a higher refresh rate does not make your gaming PC any faster. Refresh rates only affect the monitor, and they do not change anything about your graphics card or processor speed.
Input Lag vs. Refresh Rate in Gaming
Another factor you will want to consider is input lag. Input lag refers to how quickly your monitor updates and refreshes.
A lower input lag is better because it means that the time between you moving your mouse and seeing the result on the screen will be faster, allowing for a smoother gaming experience.
This can make the difference in fast-paced FPS games where split seconds count towards whether you win or lose. A low input lag is excellent for gaming. Still, it also means that your graphics card will have to work harder, impacting the overall performance.
So, what is a “good” input lag? Well, anything below 15ms should be fine, and if you have a high-refresh monitor with low input lag, this can make them the perfect partners. So, why do some monitors have higher input lag than others?
This is because the monitor manufacturers often prioritize other features over reducing input lag, so it can be pretty challenging to find a high-refresh gaming monitor that doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of hardware.
Higher or Lower Refresh Rate: Which One Do You Need?
Ultimately, whether you need a low or high monitor refresh rate depends on what type of games you play and your budget. A higher refresh rate can improve your gaming experience, so when choosing a new monitor, it’s something to look out for.
However, it comes down to input lag or refresh rate; you’ll need to choose one that offers a lower input lag since this can give you better responsiveness in FPS games.